Chapter 31: Formations!
"You fools! You dare to challenge The Prince Of Pain! No on human can stand up to the might of Goro!"
"Anyone who opposes me will be destroyed!"
"You are the fool, Goro! No single--creature, can stand up to the might of Shadowloo, especially an ugly freak like you!"
"Hah! This comes from a man that acts like a WOMAN! The high voice, the overly concern with your looks; I'm only surprised you were able to make it as far as you did! Then again, those lowly reptiles are such pushovers! Come, your death is at hand! Each one of my hands will crush your skulls, turning it to dust!"
"Be careful what you ask for," Sagat warned, "I doubt you truly have the power to fight four men."
"Four, maybe. But your red-haired friend has already been pounded into the ground. That leaves only three to threat--if it can even be said as such."
Had you been there, and taken but a moment to breath in, you may have been killed. That is how fast they moved in. As if they relayed the thoughts to each other, all of the members of Shadowloo, that were able to, engaged Goro.
No sooner had they believed that it would be an easy manner to subdue him with their numbers, than Goro exploded out from their numbers, and threw them all off. They each landed, rolled, and repositioned themselves from the monster, surprised at his outburst of strength.
Sagat looked on with amazement. Goro was just a bit taller than he was, but the strength he had was more than Sagat could even dare...although the thought that Goro had two extra arms factored into his thoughts. He had already seen what Akuma had done, and what all they had done; yet Goro still fought on!
None, other than Vega, could tell what was going on in his mind, for his mask hid any clues as to what he was thinking. Maybe he was thinking that this thing wouldn't be as easy to kill as the two-legged female lizard he had from before. Maybe he was wondering as to how they could defeat such a fighter.
Then, there was the evil leader of Shadowloo, M.Bison. He was confident that the big fellow before him would fall. After all, he had defeated Goro's own son, Kintaro, without any assistance. Thus, what chance did Goro have, now that he was joined by Sagat, and Vega?
Yet, there was a doubt, of sorts. While it was true that Kintaro seemed to be Goro's superior, based on what all he had heard, and what he has seen, Goro may be the real power. After all, deep down, he knew that only Akuma's power could challenge him. For Goro to be able to defeat Akuma, meant that he was indeed a powerful foe to challenge.
Vega was swatted away like a fly under Goro's swinging fist, and crashed into the ground. He made a futile attempt at getting back to his feet, but all he could do was to wince in pain, and clutch his chest.
Sagat moved in with a Tiger Knee. Goro shot him with a fireball, but Sagat anticipated the move, and rammed his fist into Goro's arm with a Tiger Blow. He then continued to charge in, scoring hits up Goro's arm, chest, and head.
No sooner had Sagat landed from the move, than Goro was back on his feet, and lifted Sagat with his lower arms, and pounded him with his upper ones. They felt like stalactites crashing onto his chest. He only felt a few, before Goro stopped, feeling the heat of Bison's Torpedo, a move Sagat had the misfortune of feeling, as he was caught in Goro's grip.
"Hey! What do you think you're doing..?"
"Would you rather I left you to be crushed by this freak!" Bison answered, coldly.
Sagat shouted out a warning to Bison, as Goro was about to stomp him into the ground. However, it was not needed, for Bison felt the aura, and merely warped out of the way. He reappeared, to hit Goro with a Scissor-Kick. However, Goro simply blocked it. Before Bison had even landed, Goro caught him, and began to pound at him with fists of rock.
"Tiger Genocide!" burst Sagat.
The knees, and first blow pounded Goro, while the part of the second smacked into Bison's body.
"Idiot! Watch what you are doing!"
"Would you rather I left you to be crushed by this freak!" Sagat mimicked.
"Don't even dare to mock me, Sagat!"
"Would you two shut-up! You're giving me a headache. Here, let me return the favor!"
Before either knew what had happened, Goro's arms were around them, and he smashed their skulls into each other, knocking each to his back.
"Now, feel the wrath of Goro! You shall meet your makers!"
"I have no maker! I am the maker! Sooosss!"
Goro turned, only for Akuma to dive, foot-first, into his face, striking him with the sharp kick. Just as Goro was about to come forward from the move, he was pounded by a Metsu-Go-Shoryu!
"Now stay down! What???" Akuma shouted, as a huge bolt shot between him and the beast.
Similarly, blasts shot in front of Sagat, Bison, and Vega, who was slowly recovering from having his insides seemingly crushed.
Floating down from a tower of lightning, was Raiden, god of thunder. What did he want? Even to his own surprise, he could hardly believe it--he had just saved the life of Goro!
"Chun Li, I hope I didn't--lead you on. I've known you for a long time, and you are a very close friend. But, well, after Sakura's death; it just doesn't seem right, you know?"
"...Yes, I do. I'm sorry, too. I shouldn't have tried to, to do anything. It wasn't right for me to do that, so soon after she died. I would feel the same way, if it was me who died. You know, it's almost funny, Ryu."
"What do you mean, Li."
For a moment, she almost forgot what she was going to say. He had called her Li again. Again, he did it without thinking...and it sounded even sweeter this time. Just as quickly, she broke herself from her little dream, though not without some slight disappointment.
"We have actually known each other longer. We met at the first tournament that happened just after the first Street Fighter, but before the World Warrior. You had hardly changed, even what you wore in the fight remained the same."
"That's right. You looked like you had just come out of high school. What you have now is more..."
"Revealing..." she finished, teasingly.
"...Uh, yea," Ryu stumbled.
"Anyway, I guess I was somewhat surprised that, well, nothing ever happened. I guess I was still so caught up in taking out Bison, that little else mattered. Taking him out is still just as important to me, but...there are other things in life."
"Yes. The fight has been all that I have lived for. I kept hoping, that if I could become strong enough, I could defeat Akuma, and avenge Shen Long. Now that he's back..."
Ryu stopped, as Chun Li turned away from him, her eyes to the ground. How could she tell him? While merged with his dark-side, Shen Long and Goutetsu had gone to try and free him and Ken. The plan was for Shen Long to confront Ken, while Goutetsu confronted Ryu. If they didn't come back, it would be up to Sakura and Sean.
It was a painful moment for Sean and Sakura, as the dark-sides returned, meaning that the two Grand Masters had failed! How these two could help would seem impossible. It was only through Ken's love for his family, and Ryu's for Sakura, that they were freed from their curse. Ken had gone, for a bit, on a second journey. This one may have been for Eliza's life! Without Sakura...
"Chun Li, what is it? What's wrong?" he asked, a thick sense of fear in his voice.
"Ryu! I'm sorry. You see, Shen Long and Goutetsu went to try and save Ken and you. When they didn't return..."
The scream sounded inhuman. Ryu fell to his face. At first, he tried to cling both hands to his head. Then, he began to spasm all over. His skin took on a slightly darker color, and his eyes had a red glow to them.
He stood up, and she could feel the evil. He blinked at her, and before a thought could be formed, he shot a Shinku-Hadouken at her.
She was just able to flip out of the way, as the large fireball exploded into the ground, ripping up the ground she had just been standing on.
"That, was all I needed to get back in control. With the tramp dead, and him gone, he is too weak to hold me back!"
It was so cold, and the voice sounded like an apparition. She felt like that hurt more than the fireball ever would. Before she could even question him, he vanished, and with him, his chi was also gone!
"This didn't go the way we had hoped it would."
"No, not entirely. It worked for Ken, because he has so much. That is why Ryu has tapped into power Ken hasn't. Ken lives for other things, mostly his wife and son. But Ryu..."
"I know, master Goutetsu. If only there was a way for him to learn to use his powers, without succumbing to his darkness."
"Maybe, there is a way. This young woman has a very strong chi. She may also have some very, special gifts. Maybe, she can help him."
"Me?" Chun Li half gasped, not sure what the two masters were talking about.
"Heed me, villains. Unless you will fight against Raiden, you will back down at once!"
"Why would you help him? He is one of the others that would destroy your beloved Earth Realm. By saving him, you only delay the inevitable."
"Perhaps, Vega. I doubt he will repay me. However, Goro has his own realms to rule. He has no interest in conquering new worlds. His only purpose is for fighting with a reason to fight. I also believe he has a more important reason to fight, am I not right, Goro?"
"The weak human is right. You should have let them kill me. Now, there is nothing to stop me from killing them! If you are foolish enough to go before the might of Goro, you too shall fall, `thunder god.' Now, die!"
"You will fight against a bunch of `pitiful humans,' oh proud prince, while Motaro's race eliminates your race. Do not tell me that you have been so side-tracked by your need for revenge, that you have forgotten about your own race, your own people."
Goro stopped, to glare at the god. What was going through the giant's mind? It was true that he had vowed to destroy everyone, until he had avenged Sheeva by destroying XSakura. Now that that was done, why should he waste time with these four? What could they do for him? They are meaningless. They won't help him restore his race to its rightful place!
"So be it. There is a tournament to fight in, and to win. If any of our paths cross in it, I will destroy you!"
Goro turned, but not before knocking a few trees down, to prevent them from following. Then to make it even harder, Raiden ignited them.
"You are both fools. I can easily warp past this inferno."
"I know you can Akuma. I also know that Bison can. However, are you going to go after a being that has no interest in you, or will you rebuild Shadowloo? You have maintained this formation. However, each of you are hurt from the battle with this one. You shall each need rest, in order to reach your next round, and your other goals."
"Shadowloo has been preserved. For now, there is no need to concern ourselves with Goro. He is of another world. For now, I wish only to control Earth. Let us leave."
Each of them looked at Bison, and then followed him back. Secretly, each didn't want to fight Goro, unless there was no alternative.
"You did well, Raiden."
"Yes, I guess I did, Alpha-Omega. Still, there is so much more that needs to be done."
"You shall each, in time, learn your roles. For now, know that you have done your best, and leave it at that."
"What can I do, for Ryu?"
"You have a strong fondness for Ryu, Chun Li. I can feel it, in your manner, that you would do what it takes to help him; recover."
"My student is right, Chun Li. When you had fought against Kitana, you had used a move you called a `Demon Blade Kick,' or something like that. The power you tapped into is very uncanny to the power Ryu's has tapped into. Yet, for some reason, you haven't been consumed by darkness. There must be something for you to hold onto, something that keeps you fixed and prevents you from turning to darkness."
"Is there something, anything you can think of, Chun Li? It may be what can not only bring Ryu back, but prevent him from another relapse," concluded Shen Long.
Chun Li didn't even have to think of it. She looked away, half-smiling, and blushing deeply. She could see the puzzled looks on their faces, and she gently whispered Ryu's name.
"Of course!" Goutetsu exclaimed, "Chun Li loves Ryu! That is what has kept her from crossing over! That is what had brought him back before! It was his love of Sakura! With her gone..."
"...It is up to you, Chun Li! You must confront him, and help him."
"But, I can't! It would be wrong..."
"Chun Li. Would it be worse for that, or worse to lose him to his darkness forever?"
"Neither is a choice you would want to make. The choice is yours, of course."
"...This is all we can do, Chun Li. Shen Long and I were here to help Ken and Ryu maintain their focus. Ken, with Eliza's love, will be ok. Ryu needs you, more so than ever. It won't be something either of you may be able to accept, but you must do what you think you must."
"Goutetsu's time, and mine, are done here. It is up to you, Chun Li."
Before she could voice her thought, they each vanished into the familiar, yet fearful light, and Chun Li was alone.
"So, it seems I must kill you after all."
"He is still trying to struggle. He keeps thinking of you, my dear. I cannot allow him to clasp his hopes to you. I didn't wish to waste time with you, but I must now destroy you, so I can go on with my mission."
"You, you let go of Ryu! If you don't..."
"Don't be a fool! You can't do a thing! Whatever you do to me, you do to your beloved! You are as good as dead! Give my regards to Sakura!"
To her horror, he floated toward her, followed by the ghostly trail. It was the Raging Demon! She couldn't believe that he would even think about using it on her! He was almost upon her. She couldn't move, and his hands were on her shoulders. She shut her eyes--forever it seemed.
"Chun Li! I...can't hold it back for long! Do something to free yourself; fast!"
"Ryu? I can't..."
"CHUN LI!" he nearly howled, as she saw his eyes begin to glow.
Without thinking, she wrapped her leg behind his, twisted free, and slammed him to the ground, and she felt as if she had ripped out her own heart.
"You did well. I didn't think you would do it. No matter, I shall just make sure he doesn't touch you."
"Then, I will! I will do what is needed! Whatever it takes, I will free Ryu!"
As he started to get up, Chun Li slammed him back down, as she had done to Vega when he had broken into her room that time. She looked at him, a look a fierce determination in her eyes.
With little effort, Ryu knocked her off balance, and then threw her over his shoulders. She flipped in the air, sprang onto her hands, and flipped back onto her feet.
"Pretty. Enough of this. Let us finish it."
"I will free you, Ryu. I will!"
I think this is a good enough place to end this chapter. Why? Why not. Something to keep you to coming back for!
I'm working on wrapping up this, rather lengthy, fanfic. Probably by the end of the year. It's taken longer than I expected, but when you look at all the cast, it's not hard to see why. I also had some times when I just didn't feel like writing much, as there wasn't too many people talking about it, so I took up other things, like working on the animations, which are in my sprite rip section.
Now, as I've been getting some people asking when I'm going to do my next update, or even wondering about the sequel (I didn't think my updates were THAT slow ^^), I'm back to writing roughly a chapter a week.
Just keep in mind, I'm also working on other fanfics, too, so if it doesn't seem like I've updated, I'm probably on one of those others, or looking for some new ideas for animations; or I'm downloading a new music file.
Don't worry, I've pretty much decided to remain here at Tripod, despite the ?! pop-ups. Most of the other stuff, like the sprites, are at Fortunecity. Anything else will be at Xoom, like the screen saver.
BTW: I'm surprised that people were still going to the old Angelfire address. Now, it's been redirected here. If anyone had thought that it was all done, and isn't aware that it's still living, be sure to let them know. :)